Ahead of the Assembly polls in West Bengal, the Congress is going to hold divisional workers’ meets to take feedback from them and strengthen the organisational set up in the state.

The central observers of the party are scheduled to reach Kolkata on February 6 in this connection.

The party’s in-charge for West Bengal, Jitin Prasada, said, “We have decided to divide the state into five zones and prepare for the elections zone wise.”

The meetings will start after mid-February and all the district committees have been asked to prepare for the same.

With the BJP proposing to take out five ‘yatras’ in the poll-bound state, the Congress’ plan is to counter the saffron party by holding workers’ meets to reach out to the people directly.

Central observer of the Congress, B.K. Hariprasad, and other observers will reach West Bengal on February 6 and start meeting the committees responsible for the Assembly elections from February 7.

The Congress has missed the seat sharing deadline, which was January 31. The party is now pressing its state unit to finalise the seat sharing agreement so that the preparations for the elections could be started immediately.

The Congress has authorised the state alliance committee headed by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for the purpose.

The Congress in West Bengal is engaged in seat sharing talks with the Left parties for the upcoming polls. Sources privy to the talks on the seat sharing agreement said that the Congress’ main focus will be on quality of seats and not quantity of seats, unlike in Bihar where the party contested too many seats but won only 19 .

The Congress has set up a committee to chalk out a seat sharing agreement with the Left parties, which includes Chowdhury, Abdul Mannan, Pradeep Bhattacharya and Nepal Mahato.

The committee has identified the strong seats and is talking to the Left with all the prospects on the table. One of the panel members said, “We are focusing on the strong seats only.”

Congress sources said that the results of the Bihar Assembly polls will not have a bearing on West Bengal as every state is different. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Left had contested more seats but it was the Congress which came second with 44 seats.

The Congress and the Left face a tough challenge this time as the BJP in the last five years has placed itself as the main opposition party in Bengal, winning 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 while the Left could not even open its account in the state which it once ruled for over three decades.

The 294-member West Bengal Assembly will go to the polls around May. While the Trinamool Congress has the challenge to retain power, the Congress also has to gain ground in the state.



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